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7 Movies like Her: Romantic Sci-Fi

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Gale Villaseñor itcherMovies like ‘Her’, ‘About Time’ and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ completely redefine what everyone has come to expect from sci-fi… it’s no longer all about laser guns and spaceships.
~ Gale Villaseñor

I’ve Got a Hot Date… With My Computer

While films like ‘Her’ may seem a little bit stupid when judged by their premise, they’re actually important meditations on society and many of life’s key questions. When Joaquin Phoenix begins his tumultuous relationship with the latest Operating System it becomes an exploration into how close we are with our technology, what it actually means to love something, and how much you can fit into a USB port.

Is that your cup of tea? Well check out some of these movies similar to ‘Her’…

‘Ex Machina’ (Alex Garland, 2014)

Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander star in this hauntingly clever movie about a brilliant entrepreneur who invites an employee to his secluded home to meet his newly-created A.I.

It’s a real thinker of a movie, a far cry from the ‘Total Recall’ brand of sci-fi, full of twists and turns, led by three incredible performances.

Similarity Match: 80%
There’s the element of a man falling in love with a machine, ‘Ex Machina’ treads similar footsteps in that it focuses on its characters and implications rather than the futuristic and implausible.

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (Michel Gondry, 2004)

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ presents a world where people can erase memories from their mind by simply going to a clinic. When Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet try to remove their relationship from their grey matter, they slowly discover what they had to begin with.

At first, it’ll have you scratching your head, then wiping tears from your eyes. This is a momentous movie that deserves all of its plaudits. And after watching it twice (or thrice), you might wanting more similar movies.

Similarity Match: 75%
While the onus is on the dissolution of a relationship rather than the building of one, this movie interacts with the futuristic in a very realistic and believable way – much like ‘Her’.

‘About Time’ (Richard Curtis, 2013)

You wouldn’t expect the writer and director of ‘Love Actually’ to get behind a sci-fi film and have it actually work – but it really does.

I found myself enjoying ‘About Time’ – the story of a man who wins his love’s heart through incessant time travel – a lot more than I thought I would. Billl Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson lend a certain gravitas to proceedings which helps in any movie concerning something as fantastical as time travel.

When it boils down to it, this is a movie, according to Richard Curtis, about cherishing every normal day. We can all relate to that.

Similarity Match: 70%
Just like ‘Her’, ‘About Time’ takes all the conventions of science-fiction, fantasy and romantic movies, merging them together to form something quite unique.

‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ (Colin Trevorrow, 2012)

Before he went off to stomp around with ‘Jurassic World’, Colin Trevorrow directed this wonderfully quirky piece about three magazine employees who go off on an assignment to interview somebody who placed an ad in the paper for somebody to come time-travelling with him.

I fell in love with this movie when I first saw it, though it is very much a will they/won’t they affair on more levels than you’d think.

Similarity Match: 60%
While it is a sci-fi movie of sorts, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ prefers to focus its attention on the budding relationships between characters while the time-travel element frames their growth.

‘You’ve Got Mail’ (Nora Ephron, 1998)

Okay, it isn’t science-fiction… shoot me! Nevertheless if you ever wanted to watch someone fall in with a voice on a computer, you can do a lot worse than ‘You’ve Got Mail’.

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan continue their play on-screen chemistry in this heart-warming comedy about two loves-truck email buddies who don’t realise the other person is their mortal enemy.

Similarity Match: 50%
It might be about two people falling in love with a computer screen but the similarities end there.


If You Like Her You Will Like…

One of my favourite aspects of ‘Her’ is the brilliant voice performance of Scarlett Johansson as the OS, Samantha. If you thought it’d be really hard voicing a robot or a software program, these performances will prove you wrong!

‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (Garth Jennings, 2005)

Of all the great turns in this movie, one sticks out in particular – Alan Rickman as the utterly depressed robot, Marvin. Whether he’s moping or being eternally pessimistic, he’s an absolute scene stealer whenever he’s on the screen.

While Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha was vibrant and full of life, Alan Rickman’s Marvin is down in the dumps – yet both are equally brilliant.

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

While there’s been many great voice acting performances, none have been quite as terrifying as HAL 9000 in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. As the intelligent computer, Douglas Rain brings an element of cold, merciless evil as the bane of any space traveller’s existence in what is considered one of the greatest voice performances ever.

When things start to go bad, I’d much rather have the soothing sound of Samantha in my ear than HAL’s calculated, pitiless voice.


You Can’t Turn Love Off and On Again…

There you have it, seven movies that’ll have you believing in the power of love… and scared of the power of technology. While falling in love with a computer is cool and everything, I think I’ll stick to dating humans for a while!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Hi, I’m Dale and I’m a Blu-Ray addict. When I’m not obsessively fixating over the ever-growing mountain of movies taking up most of the front room, I’m usually writing about all things Hollywood. Go figure, huh? If I’m not glued to the television watching ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ for the billionth time, you can probably find me crooning in my hard-rocking blues band or having inane conversations with the resident cats.
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